Are Solar Trickle Chargers Any Good? Pros and Cons Explained

There are a lot of solar trickle chargers on the market these days. So, if you’re like most people and wondering if they really work, or if solar trickle chargers are worth the investment, then you’ve come to the right place.

Solar trickle chargers are good for keeping your batteries charged. Choose one that is suited for the type of battery you have, not all chargers are created equal. Solar chargers also work best when in direct sunlight. The best place to put them is on the dash of your car or on top of your battery.

In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of solar trickle chargers so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to buy one.

Are Solar Trickle Chargers Any Good?

Most people never think about their car batteries until they’re stranded on the side of the road with a dead one. Then, they’re usually scrambling to find jumper cables or a friend with a working car to give them a jump-start. However, there is a way to prevent this scenario: solar trickle chargers.

Solar trickle chargers are designed to slowly charge your car battery over time so that it’s always topped off and ready to go. They’re easy to use; you just hook them up to your battery on a sunny day and let the sun recharge your car battery.

But are solar trickle chargers actually any good? Do they really work as advertised? Let’s take a closer look at this handy technology.

Are There Benefits to Using a Solar Trickle Charger?

One of the main benefits of buying a solar-powered trickle charger is not needing electricity from the grid to charge the battery. Anywhere there is sunlight, a solar trickle charger will maintain the battery with an even charge.

The way solar battery chargers work is they have solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical current. This electrical current is then stored in a battery. When the battery is full, the solar charger will shut off automatically to prevent overcharging.

The beauty of solar is that you do not need to be plugged in. So, if you need to charge your battery while camping, or even driving, it is possible to do so with a solar battery charger. All that is required is sunlight.

Solar battery chargers range in size. Some are very small and can fit in your pocket while others are a bit larger. This means that they can be highly portable, making them ideal for those who are on the go.

Do Solar Trickle Chargers Work Better?

Solar trickle chargers often perform as well or better than plug-in chargers. They can be used in multiple places that a standard trickle charger cannot. A solar trickle charger is also safer to use when charging a battery.

With a solar battery charger, you will place a thin solar panel in a sunny place. Then attach the cord to the device you are charging. A slow charge will continuously charge the battery. It is really that simple.

How Expensive Are Solar Trickle Chargers?

There is little difference in cost when comparing Solar trickle chargers to standard trickle chargers. Because it charges using energy from the sun, this product will not add to the electric bill.

Solar chargers and standard chargers cost about the same amount of money to buy. However, with a standard charger, you will always be adding costs to your power bill. This may be a minute cost, but it is still a factor to look at. Solar, on the other hand, is free.

What Can You Charge With A Solar Trickle Charger?

There are many types of solar trickle chargers available. Solar trickle chargers can charge the batteries of

  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Vehicles
  • Boats

Anything that has a rechargeable battery can be charged with a solar trickle charger.

There are solar trickle chargers available for everything from charging your devices or a 12-volt battery in a recreational vehicle or a car. They are very handy. 

How Long Can a Battery Stay on A Solar Trickle Charger?

Solar trickle chargers can remain connected to a battery for as long as is needed. If the charger has an overcharge protector it is even safer to use indefinitely. 

Because solar trickle chargers regulate the battery voltage the charge will slow down as the battery becomes fully charged.

The only time you need to disconnect from the solar trickle charger is when you are using the device.

Do Solar Trickle Chargers Have Limitations?

Solar trickle chargers are limited to the amount of sunlight they can gain energy from. If it is cloudy or dark, there is no energy for the solar trickle charger to work with. Low light will inhibit performance. Darkness will turn it off.

There will be times a solar trickle charger will not be appropriate for you. These include charging batteries:

  • At night
  • When it is cloudy or stormy
  • In shaded areas
  • Inside without direct light from a window

For indoor charging, you will need a standard trickle charger or wait for when you have sunlight again. Otherwise, you can move it out of the shade into the sun, or wait out the storm.

If you are off-grid or camping and the sun goes down the solar trickle charger will not be working. That shouldn’t bother you in this situation. Turn off the lights and connect with nature. The sun will be out soon enough.

Are Solar Trickle Chargers Worth It?

When it comes to trickle chargers, solar is just as good if not superior to standard chargers. You are able to take the solar trickle charger anywhere with you, and so long as you have available sunlight, you are able to use the trickle charger.

The cost is comparable to standard trickle chargers with the only difference being that solar doesn’t add to your power bill. And finally, you can charge anything that has a rechargeable battery.

For example, using solar car battery chargers to charge car batteries is a great way to keep them topped off. If you have an RV, then you can use a solar trickle charger instead of a standard car battery charger for your RV batteries too!

If you have a portable solar panel instead of a trickle charger you can read our guide on how to connect a solar panel to your RV battery.

Take a solar trickle charger on your next camping trip or road trip. You will be happy you have it when your devices need power, and there is no outlet in sight. Do some research and find the best one for you and your needs. You won’t regret it.

FAQ

You can leave a solar trickle charger on all the time. Solar trickle chargers can remain connected to a battery for as long as is needed. If the charger has an overcharge protector it is even safer to use indefinitely. 

When battery charging is complete, the solar trickle charger will automatically shut off., so you don’t have to worry about overcharging the battery.

The wattage you need depends on what you are trying to charge. Check the requirements of what you are wanting to charge and purchase a solar trickle charger with at least that wattage.

The wattage of the solar trickle charger will also affect how fast it can charge the battery. A higher wattage solar trickle charger can charge the battery faster than a lower wattage one.

For example, if you are wanting to charge a phone, a solar trickle charger with at least a 15 wattage is recommended. If you are wanting to charge a car battery, then you will need at least a 100 watt solar trickle charger.

Final Thoughts

Solar trickle chargers are a great way to keep your batteries topped off without having to run cords all over the place.

They’re portable, easy to use, and can be set up in just minutes. Plus, they’re a more environmentally-friendly option than using traditional battery chargers.

Remember you can use your solar trickle charger to solar charge a battery while using it. This is perfect for things like phones, tablets, and laptops.

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